A U.S. soldier has been killed in the ongoing fight to retake Mosul from Islamic State forces.
According to a report from ABC News, the Pentagon said that American soldier Weston C. Lee of Bluffton, Georgia was killed on Saturday by an explosive device while he was engaged in a patrol outside the Iraqi city of Mosul.
The 25-year-old Lee was part of the 1st Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. He was the leader of his platoon.
Col. Pat Work, of Lee’s combat team, spoke highly of the young leader: "Lee was an extraordinary young man and officer. He was exactly the type of leader that our Paratroopers deserve."
According to NBC News, Lee is only the second U.S. military servicemember to die in the fight to retake Mosul which was launched over six months ago.
The other casualty of the Mosul conflict was 34-year-old Navy Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan of Anaheim, California. Finan died of wounds he sustained from a bomb attack.
The Pentagon also said that over 100 U.S. Special Operations forces are working alongside Iraqi forces in the Mosul area. The U.S. has been increasing its military presence in Iraq in its effort to combat the Islamic State. There are currently more U.S. forces in Iraq than at any other time since the U.S. withdrew troops from the country in 2011.
Photo: Children play football next to an oil field that was set on fire by retreating ISIS fighters ahead of the Mosul offensive, on October 21, 2016 in Qayyarah, Iraq. Several hundred Iraqi families have been made to leave their homes for Mosul by Islamic State fighters as the UN warns they could be used as human shields. ISIS have attacked Kirkuk today as Kurdish and Iraqi forces, backed by a coalition including Britain and the U.S.A continue their offensive to retake Iraq's second largest city of Mosul.
Photo courtesy: Carl Court/Getty Images
Publication date: May 1, 2017